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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Classic Showcase: Rock-omatopoeia Songs

Under this unusual wording are classified a selection of arrangements that all share a family of traits; each of the songs are rock-styled arrangements of different pieces of Classic track from all over the world and all of them have a title that is formed out by four letters from different Japanese writing systems, whose translation gives out a four-syllable onomatopoeia title that is somehow related to the song's composition and/or background motif that has inspired the very same tracks' creation in some way or another.

One additional link that tie all these tunes together is NAMCO SOUNDS composer/guitarist/piano player Katsuro Tajima (田島勝朗), who both created and performed all the tracks for the Taiko no Tatsujin series.


-Rock-omatopoeia series-


 Dokadoka (弩蚊怒夏)
All consolex5 (206)x7 (309)x8 (544)x10 (1000)
Taiko 0x5 (206)x7 (309)x7 (544)x10 (1000)
 Taiko 0 K, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko PS Vita, Taiko +

Previously featured in Song of the Week: November 1 2014
The first of this series showcase's tracks derives from one part of Antonio Vivaldi's most famous composition, The Four Seasons. The piece was composed and published in 1725, originally titled The Contest Between Harmony and Invention, and dedicated by Vivaldi to Count Václav Morzin. Each season in The Four Seasons has three movements, and embodies the atmosphere of each by using different instruments. The Summer concerto's final movement uses heavy tones to bring up the feeling of a thunderstorm. It is this famous movement which is borrowed by Dokadoka.

The title is made up of four kanji characters, and is pronounced as Dokadoka (the sounds of Taiko's red and blue notes) through some really clever wordplay. What does it mean though? Japanese players interpret the title as being a shortened form of "超級の", or "The Summer of the Super Mosquitoes' Fury". Mosquitoes are a common annoyance during the summer season, when the weather is warm and humid, creating perfect breeding conditions for the pests, hence you can see why they were chosen to represent the title! This creative name was thought up by Taiko Team member Kawagen Collagen, already notorious as one of the latest and most prolific notechart creators in the third arcade generation.

Kawagen Collagen did not create Dokadoka's notechart though; that duty was given to Kaan (カーン). And a good job he did too. Dokadoka first appeared in Taiko 3DS2's default songlist and then brought over to the Kimidori arcade as the final Don Point unlockable. Its Oni chart is a 'final' song worthy of its status, unseating Etude Op.10-4 (Ura) as the Classic genre song with the highest note total, and is the 3rd song overall to have exactly 1000 notes.

It's not an easy chart both to pass or to Full Combo. Dokadoka speeds through at a consistent BPM190 and the entire thing is filled to the brim with intensely long streams. The streams are slightly on the technical side involving a lot of handswitch and ability to count Don notes. Even if you do know how to read Dokadoka's streams, it is an extremely tiring song, containing the trinity of long streams, high BPM, and great song length, which takes its toll on players very easily, even veterans. Be sure to warm up properly before tackling this!

 Chikochiko (千鼓千鼓)
Allx4 (210)x6 (324)x8 (534)x9 (776)
 Taiko 0 Mu, Taiko 3DS 3, Taiko Wii U 3

Murasaki Version's launch window built on this trend of rock-based Classic arrangements with unusual title wording/reading discrepancies through a piece whose title now sports two pairs of identical Kanji characters. Said title's actual Japanese pronunciation, however, is "Ticotico" because, as also hinted in the song's very own SongID, this reading is related to the original musical piece that inspired the arrange action: the 1917 Brazilian song Tico-Tico no Fubá.

With the title literally translatable as "rufous-collared sparrow in the cornmeal", this track was composed by Brazilian composer Zequinha de Abreu, art name of José Gomes de Abreu (September 19, 1880 – January 22, 1935). The song is labeled as a piece of choro (Portuguese for 'cry/lament') music, a genre that despite its own negative-connotation naming is actually used to identify Brazilian urban popular tunes with happy rhythm, full of musical devices that give a sense of livelihood (such as virtuosities, improvisations, syncopations and counterpoints). Originally, the 1917 song's name was set to be Tico-Tico no Farelo (lit. 'sparrow in the bran'), but since Brazilian guitarist Américo Jacomino "Canhoto" had a work with the same title, Zequinha had to settle for a slightly-different one.

After being popularized by the cover recordings of several Western artists (including Ethel Smith, The Andrews Sisters and Carmen Miranda), Tico-tico no Fuba found its rising star of popularity through its many cameos in movies such as Disney's Saludos Amigos (1942), Copacabana (1947) and Radio Days (1987). The catchy composition also had its share of fame in very recent memory, with the track being featured in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics and in a couple of recent videogames: Just Dance 2017 and Civilization VI!

Roughly six years and three months since Republic Praise and the Light Cavalry Overture (both from Taiko 12), Chikochiko is the latest Classic song to make its debut in the Taiko series through an arcade release. Notecharter SueP (すえP) of Synchronica charting fame has handled the mapping process of this song's four modes, with the Oni mode being an exquisite example of how Taiko notecharts can feature charting gimmicks in different ways, with Chikochiko's first half sporting a more technical-fueled feeling and the ending sped-up portion repeating note patterns at higher speeds a-la Dokidoki Mune Kyun Omatsuri Time.

 Puchipochi (プチポチ)
Allx5 (194)x7 (363)x8 (528)x10 (877)
 Taiko Wii U 3, Taiko PS Vita

A first for one of our Song Series Showcases, we have a track that could fit into multiple series categorizations, as Puchipochi is the arranged version of one of the many works of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin! While we are forwarding you to the related series showcase page for further details about the Polish composer (click here!), here we'll be specifically talking about the song which inspired the creation of this Taiko-original arrange.

Said track is the Waltz in D-flat major, Op. 64, No. 1, 'Valse du Petit Chien' (French for 'Waltz of the Little Dog'), written and published in 1842 by the Breitkopf & Härtel publishing house in Leipzig as Chopin's personal inscription to Polish countess Delfina Potocka. The piano waltz is given the Molto vivace tempo marking in two sections, with section A being marked in leggiero and the calmer section B ending in sostenuto. The waltz's publisher has given the later-popularized nickname of "Minute Waltz" as in the 'small' adjective being used in the sense of 'miniature', although Chopin himself didn't intend for anyone to play this piece in under a minute. Camille Bourniquel, one of Chopin's biographers, reminds the reader of one of his biographic works about the composer that Chopin got the inspiration for this waltz as he was watching a small dog chase its tail, which also prompted the composer to the French naming portion of the piece. As the main theme of Puchipochi's debut Taiko game (Atsumete Tomodachi Daisakusen) is animals, the Taiko Team has chosen to re-arrange Chopin's waltz as the dog-themed Classic newcomer, in contraposition to the cat-themed unlockable Maow.

In more than one sense, Puchipochi feels like a difficulty upgrade to Chikochiko as the technical-withspeedup concept has been followed once more in order to give out a more technical notechart that isn't afraid to throw both long and short 1/16-1/24 clusters to the player when the playing pace drastically ramps up! Plus, much like for Chikochiko, the Max Combo counter was deliberately set so that it would barely miss a significative number combo counter in both cases (Chikochiko Oni is 1 note short to 777 while Puchipochi Oni is 1 note over the 876 BanNam goroawase).


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  2. Shouldn't Charlie Dash be here too?

    1. It's not a four-lettered song title, therefore it's not fit for this feature